100 Russian protesters moved in direct action in protest of the coming Sochi Winter Olympics on Wednesday night, attacking Khimki City Hall with molotov cocktails, bottles and fireworks and spraypainting slogans such as “Save Russian forests” and “No to Khimki forest clearing.”
In more traditional enviro-action style, Greenpeace shut down 46 BP Stations in London on Tuesday. Fencing off the petrol stations and putting up snarky signs stating “Moving Beyond Petroleum,” Greenpeace’s protests come at a time of rising anger towards the English company, since 30% of the UK owns BP stock, and the company has just reported over $17 billion dollars of losses due to the Deep Horizon explosion.
Greenpeace also lead a demonstration in Canada against the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, which would build a pipeline from Alberta to British Columbia, after an Enbridge pipeline burst in Michigan on Monday. The broken pipeline has already leaked over 819,000 gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River, exposing the dangers of Enbridge’s future plans to pump over a million barrels of oil across Canada every day. Back to the nitty gritty: the protest consisted of 4 activists who chained themselves to the entrance doors of the 6th floor offices of Burrard and West Pender, a company invested in the Northern Gateway Project. With oil fresh from the Gulf of Mexico, they scrawled “BC Next” on the glass doors to which they are apparently still locked after over a day of protest!
In other protest news, another environmental protest was broken up by police in Eurasia, this time in Armenia as protesters demanded that financial institutions like the VTB Bank stop funding the controversial Teghut copper mine. . This comes just a week after a mass civil disobedience environmental protest was suppressed in Croatia.
In India, activists continue to protest the Vedanta AGM mining project in Orissa, in Kansas, an uproar has been raised against a feedlot expansion in an already contaminated area, and in China a propylene pipeline burst, killing 12 and dumping thousands of tons of chemicals into local water supplies. 4.2 million people were without water for a day, marking the latest in a series of disasters, natural and man-made, which have marked this Summer in the ravaged countryside. To give an indication, due to flooding, the 3-Gorges Dam is already at 90% capacity.
On Monday night (July 26) an oil pipeline – owned by Enbridge Energy Inc. – burst and spilled over 1,000,000+ gallons of crude into the Kalamazoo River near Battle Creek, Michigan. Michiganders are scrambling to stop the flow from getting into Lake Michigan, but I fear their efforts are in vain.
According to the latest local news reports, it seems that Enbridge was slow to react to the emergency, while under reporting the actual amount of oil that was leaked into the river. Since Monday, the situation has grown even worse. Birds and other animal wildlife, coated with oil, have been found. People living along the river have been warned to evacuate the area along the river way and not to drink their well water for fear of contamination.
1,000,000+ gallons of oil may not sound like much to some, considering the amount of oil now floating just underwater in the Gulf of Mexico, but in such a confined area – like the Kalamazoo River – that amount is devastating. As the oil continues to flow west, it will soon reach Lake Michigan, affecting the drinking water of millions of people, killing all wildlife, and despoiling the true beauty of the great lake.
I’m really starting to believe that corporations don’t give a damn about anything other than their profits. As I stated in one of my previous blog posts (Who Put Corporations in Charge?), “…what good is money, after all, if you don’t have air to breathe, water to drink, or food to eat without fear of contamination?”